By: Cassie Ericson

Being a student athlete can be fun with the crowd cheering, people knowing your name in the halls and what position you play, but aside from game days, the preparation can be stressful. Summer time is taken up for practice and conditioning. Athletes get up at eight in the morning to lift weights and run. If you’re someone like me, you stress a week before hand when your coach says you are going on a six-mile run next Thursday.

When school starts, classes give homework but athletes must wait until after practice ends to do it. Athletes also have to save time for chores, eating dinner and showering. That is everyday for three months. The athlete’s social life is limited during this time since most of them have jobs, as well. According to Quinton McCleod at Elon University, “The daily tasks of homework combined with keeping up a social life are called stressors. This can cause chemical and physical changes in the body. These changes cause the body to burn out.”

The foundation for Global Sports stated, “It’s a vicious cycle. A student will stay up late studying for a test. They won’t get the sleep they need, which makes them foggy for the next day’s activities. Practice may not go well, so they could get frustrated.  They may start falling behind in homework.  They’ll feel worse, so they may grab an unhealthy snack to feel better. Lack of sleep combined with poor nutrition can increase stress and send the student into a truly unhealthy cycle.”

There are three ways to help student athletes be less stressed: identifying the stressor, learning how to manage time, and getting enough rest. By doing these things, a student may be more successful in their sport and in school.